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Euphorbia marginata (Snow on the Mountain)


Scientific Name

Euphorbia marginata Pursh

Common Names

Snow on the Mountain, Smoke on the Prairie, Variegated Spurge, Whitemargined Spurge


Agaloma marginata, Dichrophyllum marginatum, Dichrophyllum variegatum, Euphorbia bejariensis, Euphorbia leucoloma, Euphorbia variegata, Lepadena leucoloma, Lepadena marginata, Tithymalus marginatus, Tithymalus variegatus

Scientific Classification

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Euphorbieae
Subtribe: Euphorbiinae
Genus: Euphorbia


Euphorbia marginata is a warm-weather, annual, single-stemmed plant that typically grows up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall. It is usually unbranched below the inflorescence. The leaves are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, medium green in spring, with the upper leaves gradually developing showy clean white margins. Compound cymes of inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, true flowers bloom at the stem ends from mid-summer to early fall.

Euphorbia marginata (Snow on the Mountain)

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It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.

How to Grow and Care

Euphorbias are very easy to care for. They require a little pampering to become established, but once they are, they are self-sufficient. In fact, more die from too much care and watering than from neglect. Euphorbias need well-draining soil and lots of sunlight. They are not particular about soil pH, but they cannot tolerant wet soil. Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia does not handle long periods of drought well. It may need weekly watering during the summer. Water whenever the soil is dry several inches below the surface. Water deeply, but don't let them sit in wet soil, which can cause root rot. Add some organic matter or fertilizer to the planting hole. If you are growing them in containers or your soil is poor, feed with a half-strength fertilizer monthly.

Euphorbia can be grown from seed, but they can be difficult to germinate (or even find). It is usually propagated by cuttings. This can be tricky, because of the exuding sap. Rooting hormone is recommended with Euphorbias. They tend to grow problem free, but there are a few pests and diseases to be alert for… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Euphorbia


Euphorbia marginata is native to parts of temperate North America, from eastern Canada to the southwestern United States. It is naturalized throughout much of China.


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